2008 Rule 5 Draft

UPDATE: The Cubs lost three players in the 2008 Rule 5 Draft this morning, one in the Major League Phase and two in the AAA Phase.

1. Donald Veal, LHP - selected off AAA Iowa roster by Pittsburgh Pirates with 4th overall pick in Major League Phase.

2. Yusuf Carter, OF - selected off AA Tennessee roster by Oakland A's in AAA Phase.

3. Mark Holliman, RHP - selected off AA Tennessee roster by Milwaukee Brewers in AAA Phase  

The Cubs did not select any players, but they did acquire RHP David Patton from the Cincinnati Reds in a cash transaction after the conclusion of the draft. Patton was selected from the Colorado Rockies by the Reds with the 8th pick in the 1st round of the Major League Phase, and so the Cubs will assume the Rule 5 obligations (Patton must remain on Cubs 25-man roster for the entire 2009 season--or at least 90 days on the active roster if he spends time on the DL--before he can be optioned to the minors).

The 24-year old Patton is 6'3 175, and was selected by Colorado in the 12th round of the 2004 draft out of Green River CC in Washington. He struggled as a starter his first two years in pro ball before turning his career around after a move to the bullpen in 2006. He throws a hard breaking ball and has an above average fastball, and so he could project as an MLB reliever. The only problem is, he spent the last two years pitching in the California League (Hi-A), and has yet to throw even one inning of AA ball, although he did get into nine games with the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the AFL post-2008 (an atrocious 9.24 ERA and 2.13 WHIP in 12.2 IP).  

All three of the Cubs players selected in today's Rule 5 Draft were 2005 Rule 4 Draft picks (Veal in the 2nd round out of Pima CC, Holliman in the 3rd round out of Ol' Miss, and Carter in the 12th round out of El Paso CC), and this was the first Rule 5 Draft for each player.

Veal is still only 24, and was rated one of the Cubs top pitching prospects for most of his time with the Cubs, before falling out of favor in 2008. Veal has a plus-curve and a 93 MPH fastball, but he has struggled with his mechanics throughout his pro career and tends to hit his pitch limit before he can get through five innings. To help him throw fewer pitches-per-inning, the Cubs had him junk his curve in favor of a more-pedestrian slider in 2008, and that could have led to his downfall. I suspect the Pirates will have Veal try and get back to where he was before the Cubs started messing with him. I have projected Veal as a future MLB reliever for some time now (I would compare him to Arthur Rhodes), and I believe that is his best chance to have success at the MLB level. He is very effective against left-handed hitters, and pitching more often but without a pitch limit (as will be the case if he works out of the bullpen) should help him find more consistency with his posture, release point, and arm slot.    

The 25-year old Holliman was a "Friday Night Starter" (ace) at Ole Miss in his college days, and he had some success as a rotation starter the first half  of 2006 and 2007 with the Cubs at Daytona and Tennessee. But then he would hit a wall at about 110 IP and was unable to finish strong. With it becoming increasingly obvious that Holliman lacked the stamina to throw the 180 innings per season needed to remain in the starting rotation, he was moved into a middle-relief role at AA in 2008, and that appears to be his future.

Drafted out of JC ball as a catcher, 23-year old Yusuf Carter was moved to RF his second year with the Cubs. He has a plus-arm and plus-power, but he is also a very raw hitter (226/275/409 hitter in 298 career minor league games) who strikes out a lot and rarely walks. He would have had to win a job as the 4th outfielder at Tennessee in 2009 if he had remained with the Cubs. He is the nephew of retired MLB star outfielder (and ex-Cub) Joe Carter.

When a Rule 5-eligible player is placed on a AA reserve list in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft (as was the case with Holliman and Carter), it usually means the player's club sees the player as having a 50/50 chance of getting released in Spring Training, and so the club is happy to get $12,000 for the player. And since they were selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, Carter and Holliman will not be offered back to the Cubs. They are gone.

Veal's situation is a different matter, however, as he has to remain on the Pirates 25-man roster for the entire 2009 season (or a minimum of 90 days if he spends time on the DL) before he can be optioned to the minors. So it is possible that the Cubs could get Veal back, if the Pirates decide they can't afford to keep him in the big leagues for an entire season and if the other MLB clubs aren't interested in assuming the Rule 5 requirements. 

 -- AZ PHIL  


The 2008 Rule 5 Draft gets underway in about 15 minutes at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and (as usual) it's the last official order of business at the MLB Winter Meetings  

37 Cubs minor leaguers (including three players who retired during Spring Training 2007) are eligible for selection. I expect to see LHP Donald Veal (Cubs 2005 2nd round pick out of Pima CC) picked early, and don't be surprised if Veal is selected by a club picking in the Top 5 but then gets traded (for cash or a PTBNL) to a club that selects in the bottom third of the draft order. Other Cubs who are fairly strong candidates for selection are RHPs Mark Holliman, Gregory Reinhard, Dumas Garcia, and Jesse Estrada, and 2B Nate Spears.      

There are three phases to the draft, the Major League Phase (where players are selected off AAA reserve lists), the AAA Phase (where players are selected off AA reserve lists), and the AA Phase (where players are selected off the reserve lists of Class "A" clubs).

Players eligible for selection in the Major League Phase cost $50,000 each, players eligible for selection in the AAA Phase cost $12,000, and players eligible for selection in the AA Phase cost $4,000.

Players selected in the Major League Phase must remain on the drafting club's MLB Active Roster (25-man roster) for one full season or 90 days (whichever comes last) before the player can be optioned to the minors (presuming the player has minor league options left). Time spent on the Disabled List does not count toward the one year or 90 days

A player selected in the Major League Phase must receive a "full trial" in Spring Training, and cannot be outrighted to the minors until 20 days prior to the start of the season. 

If a club wants to remove a Rule 5 player from it's 40-man roster prior to the player completing one full season (or 90 days) on the Active Roster, the player must be placed on Outright Waivers (which are irrevocable) and can be claimed by another club for the waiver price (which is $25,000 for Rule 5 players). 

If the Rule 5 player is claimed off Outright Waivers, the claiming club assumes the Rule 5 roster requirements. If the player is not claimed, the player must be offered back to the player's original club for half the draft price ($25,000)  If the player is not taken back by the club from whom the player was drafted, the player is automatically outrighted to the AAA club of the drafting club. If the player has at least three years of MLB service time or as been previously outrighted in his career, the player has the option to be a free-agent rather than accept the outright assignment.

Playes selected in the AAA and AA phases of the Rule 5 Draft belong to the drafting club without any strings attached or roster restrictions. The only caveat is that the drafted player must spend Spring Training with the minor league club (AAA or AA level) that selected the player in the draft. But once the minor league regular season starts, the player can be assigned to any team in the drafting club's minor league system.  


You can follow the Rule 5 draft over at Baseball America if you wish. As of 12:41PM CST, Donald Veal was taken with the 4th pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bruce Miles is reporting that the Cubs are trying to work out a trade with the Cincinnati Reds to acquire pitcher David Patton, whom they selected from the Colorado Rockies. 


In the Triple A-Phase, the Cubs have lost outfielder Yusuf Carter to the Athletics and pitcher Mark Holliman to the Brewers. (Rob G.)


Just how bad is our minor league system? Well, remember, Donnie Veal was the only Tennessee Smokie (AA) picked for the Southern League All-Star team. But after getting passed over for promotion to Iowa (Smarja got the open roster spot instead), Veal swooned in the second half and now he's on his way out.

I'm guessing Baltimore may be interested.

"Just how bad is our minor league system."

Getting better at the lower levels, where it has to start. Tennessee was especially weak last year, and Iowa used retreads to camouflage a dearth of prospects.

But Daytona, with many players from Wilken's first (2006) draft class, was good (FSL champs). Boise and Peoria were pretty good.

Veal was taken 4th by the Pirates. He does have a chance to stick with that pitching staff...and I'm sure we'll have a chance to see him pitch against us.

I'm looking forward to Cubs' batters feasting on him in April. Mmmm..... Veal.

The Padres took Everth Cabrera from the Indians, a 2B. And Corey Brock reports that Towers still hasn't heard anything from Hendry. I wonder if this Peavy deal is now on thin ice.


No reason to believe the Cubs won't still be one of the few teams on Jake's OK list come summertime.

Now if we could just get some resolution on Brian Roberts...

update at the bottom of the post on who has been selected so far...

Rocky Cherry got plucked from the O's by the Mets in the 2nd round as well.

Cubs did end up trading for David Patton for cash. Maybe the Reds felt bad about the Josh Hamilton thing...


BA blurb..

Aggressive with hard breaking ball in 82-85 mph range, tick-above-average fastball; 10.6 K/9 in Cal League

Br.com page


pitched in Hi-A ball last year and walks his share of guys, doubt he'll stick

Why is a team that supposed to strapped for cash trading any of it away for a guy who wont make the team? Is the cash their giving the Reds less than the waiver exchange Patten's old team will have to pay to get him back?

I don't know what the Cubs paid the Reds for Patton, but the Reds paid $50,000 to the Rockies. You have to assume the Cubs paid a little more to get him from the Reds.

If the Cubs decide to drop Patton AND the Rockies or another team decides to pick him back up, the Cubs get $25,000.

Plus the Cubs have to pay Patton something for his time with the Cubs, whatever that is (I'm sure Phil knows). But the major league minimum is $390,000, it would take about 7-8 of these deals just to equal that, so it's not a big deal...at all.

When did he retire from the NFL?

Reds writer says it was a pre-arranged deal...


don't we all feel better about Josh Hamilton now? (Ducks from the flying debris being thrown at me)

The MLB minimum is now $400K, so that will almost certainly be David Patton's salary in 2009. There will also be a "minor league split" salary of $32,500 (minimum split for players on the 40-man roster for the first time) in his contract, which is what he'll get if he ends up going back to the minors.

If Patton doesn't make the Cubs 25-man roster, he has to be placed on Outright Waivers (he can be placed on Outright Waivers no earlier than 25 days prior to the start of the season, but he can be outrighted to the minors no earlier than 20 days prior to the start of the season) and any other MLB club can claim him off Outright Waivers, and as a Rule 5 player, his waiver price is $25,000 (it's $20,000 for non Rule 5 guys).

If he gets claimed off Outright Waivers, his new club assumes the Rule 5 obligations (as happened with Tim Lahey last year when he was claimed off waivers by the Phillies at the end of Spring Training). If he doesn't get claimed off waivers, he has to be offered back to the Rockies for $25,000.

If the Rockies choose to take him back (and most teams take their Rule 5 guys back if they are given the chance), he is automatically outrighted to the minors. If the Rockies choose not to take him back, he remains property of the Cubs.

so what do the Cubs have to pay him between now and Opening Day?

or how does that all work, I guess.

I assume the $400K goes into effect if he makes the 25-man, but he gets something between now and then, correct? the minor league split money?

Submitted by Rob G. on Thu, 12/11/2008 - 2:47pm.

so what do the Cubs have to pay him between now and Opening Day? or how does that all work,

I guess. I assume the $400K goes into effect if he makes the 25-man, but he gets something between now and then, correct? the minor league split money?


ROB G: Players don't get paid during the off-season, and all players at big league camp (from Carlos Zambrano all the way down to David Patton) get about $1,000 per week Spring Training allowance (and it's $250 per week for guys at the minor league camp, BTW), so the Cubs don't owe Patton anything... yet.

The $400K doesn't kick-in until Opening Day (players on the 40-man roster get paid twice a month, April through September, and you can get direct deposit or they'll cut you a check), but that's only if Patton is on an MLB 25-man roster. If he gets outrighted prior to Opening Day, he makes only $32,500 for the season (which is a lot more than the $10,000 or so per year he's been making!). If he gets outrighted sometime after Opening Day, the $400K and the $32,500 are prorated (he gets paid at the $400K rate only for the days he's on a 25-man roster). 

A couple of other things about minor league split money... the $32,500 minimum is only for players who are on a 40-man roster for the first time (Atkins, Berg, M. Mateo, and Patton). For everybody else the split minumum is $65,000.

And a player's minor league split has to be at least 60% of what the player was actually paid in salary the previous season, so when Rich Hill and Matt Murton were in the minors leat year, their minor league splits were about $250,000, because they made about $400K each in 2007 when they spent the entire season in the big leagues.

Maybe we can get Josh Hamilton back for teh 400K cash we got two years ago? He would have looked good in RF right now!

Andy Sisco would look good in RF right now too. He can't play OF any better than he can pitch, but he'd look the part.

here is Kevin Goldstein's take on David Patton (from Baseball Prospectus);

Patton is another reliever with a solid chance to stick. More of an organizational player entering the season, Patton's stuff significantly improved with a move to the bullpen, as his fastball consistently sat in the low 90s in shorter stints, and he also uses a sharp slider that projects as at least average. If there's a word of warning, it's that he got torched in the Arizona Fall League and then struggled with his command in Hawaii.


so he's got a solid chance to stick despite not being able to get Triple-A and Double-A hitters outs?

dubious logic....

I predict the Cubs will place David Patton on waivers the first day they can do it (25 days prior to Opening Day), he won't get claimed, he will be offered back to Colorado, but the Cubs will attempt to work out a trade with the Rockies so that they can keep him (offering the Rockies a different pitcher, maybe somebody like Mark Pawelek), and if they can work out a trade, Patton will spend the 2009 season at AA Tennessee.

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  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 58 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 1 hour 7 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 1 hour 10 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 5 hours 17 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 5 hours 19 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 12 hours 13 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 12 hours 18 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 12 hours 33 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 12 hours 36 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 12 hours 40 min ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 12 hours 45 min ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 12 hours 46 min ago view